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Latino group fetes Gibson

November 03, 2006|Robert W. Welkos | Times Staff Writer

In one of his first public appearances since his headline-grabbing arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, Mel Gibson was honored Thursday by a Latino business association for his "vision and courage" in bringing his latest movie, "Apocalypto," to the big screen later this year.

Those in attendance during the Latino Global Business Conference and Digital Expo at the Beverly Hilton Hotel saw about 10 minutes of footage from the film, an action-adventure that tells of the rise and fall of the Maya culture.

Latin Business Assn. Chairman Rick Sarmiento, who has seen a cut of the film, due out Dec. 8, said it made him feel "extremely proud of everything having to do with my culture."

Gibson discussed the challenges he faced in choosing to make a movie with relative unknowns. "It's tantamount to being at the Super Bowl and getting your quarterback from the audience," he said.

robert.welkos@latimes.com

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